Low Intensity Intervention Training

 

Low Intensity Intervention for Young People Training Course 

Mind HK and MINDSET are pleased to announce its formal training course on low-intensity interventions for young people using an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) framework. Upon completion of this training, graduates will hold the skills to provide guided self-help based on the principles of ACT to young people facing mild to moderate mental health problems in Hong Kong.

Key information 

Course Dates:

July 2022 – June 2023

Duration:

2.5 weeks of classes and workshops spread across July and August 2022
9-month placement (3 days per week) from September 2022 until June 2023

Application Dates:

All applicants
Open: Monday 7 June 2021
Close: End of January 2022
Interviews will take place in Spring 2022

*Please note these are the new dates as of September 2021.

Tuition Fees (2022/2023):

Tuition Fees for 2022/2023 have been kindly covered by our programme sponsors.

Training Venue:

Hong Kong Baptist University
*Contingent on COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Apply:

Please review all details and our FAQs before applying and apply via this form

 

Entry requirements

Ability to work in Hong Kong Hong Kong resident or valid working visa for the duration of the programme
Age 21+
Education Secondary education (Higher education desired)
Language ability Fluency in oral and written English (Fluency in Cantonese or another language is desired)
Knowledge Basic knowledge of common mental health problems, e.g. a degree in a mental health-related topic, prior experience in healthcare or other settings with exposure to people experiencing mental health problems

 

Course Introduction

Jardine Matheson, MINDSET, Hongkong Land HOME FUND and HKEX Foundation have funded Mind HK to launch this training course. Using a model similar to the UK’s Children and Young Person’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP-IAPT) initiative, the programme will train a new cohort of practitioners to work with young people (aged between 12 and 24) experiencing mild to moderate psychological distress using a low-intensity, manualised intervention based on the principles of ACT. This training and the related research will be conducted in collaboration with King’s College London and Hong Kong Baptist University.

 

Course Format and Assessment

Trainees will undergo an intensive teaching block across July & August 2022, followed by a 9 month placement starting in September 2022.

Teaching:

The teaching block will involve a combination of lectures, group exercises and role-plays and practical assessments; and sessions will be mostly in-person.

Modules covered will include:

  • Introduction to mental health/mental health in Hong Kong
  • Counselling skills
  • Clinical risk management
  • Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Delivering the ACT-based manualised intervention

Trainees will undergo a practical assessment at the end of the teaching block.

Placement:

After the training block is complete, each trainee will commence placement at a school or community organisation. During each 9-month long placement, trainees will deliver the intervention to young people three days per week, seeing a minimum of 3 young people a day. Both supervision and placements will be arranged by Mind HK.

Supervisors will be responsible for monitoring trainee’s learning and development and ensure that trainees conduct safe, effective practice in their role, adhering to the manualised intervention.

Course Benefits
  • Learn from experts in the field from local and international institutions of excellence
  • Gain comprehensive training, in both theoretical background and practical skills, to provide support to young people experiencing mental health problems
  • Receive supervision from an experienced practitioner (arrangement and cost-covered)
  • Have on-site, practical experience via placement, an opportunity to apply the learned intervention methods in a real-world clinical environment (all arranged at no cost)
Funding Candidate’s training course fees have been fully funded by the programme’s sponsors: Jardine Matheson, MINDSET, Hongkong Land HOME FUND and HKEX Foundation. The training is free to 50 successful applicants, and additional self-funded places are available.
Careers This training will equip trainees with the necessary skills to provide low-intensity interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to young people at schools or community organisations in Hong Kong.

Upon completion of the placement, and subject to meeting agreed standards (as assessed by their supervisors), trainees will be eligible to move into a permanent role via 2 pathways:

  1. Eligible host organisations can choose to employ trainees in permanent roles once they have completed their placements. They will be obliged to offer all their sessions for low-cost or free therapy.
  2. In substitute, or on top of this, they may also choose to offer their services in private settings. The rates for this will be capped to ensure the service remains affordable, in line with the aim of this programme – to make psychological therapies more accessible to those in need.

To continue in this role, individuals will be subject to annual evaluation and will have their status renewed and confirmed by Mind HK.

Evaluation This training course is in its pilot phase. A randomised controlled trial will be conducted to measure the effectiveness of the intervention, comparing the young people who receive the intervention without delay to a waitlist control (or, treatment-as-usual) group.

 

For further information on this programme, please see below for the programme FAQs.

Enquiries:

Should you have any question about the training programme, please email us at [email protected] and use the subject line “Mind HK Low-Intensity Interventions for Young People Training Course“.

FAQs

What is the Low Intensity Interventions for Young People Training Course?

The training course aims to provide trainees with a foundational understanding of low intensity psychological interventions for young people. It hopes to increase access to mental health care and support for young people (aged 12-24) in Hong Kong, through training individuals to deliver low-intensity, manualised and guided self-help interventions based upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

This trainingis based on a model similar to the UK’s Children and Young Person’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP-IAPT) initiative.

The pilot training course will train the first cohort of workers, who will be trained to deliver interventions to young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

It is a form of psychological therapy derived from the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, focusing on promoting the acceptance of painful thoughts and feelings in service of living a meaningful life.

ACT skills encourage people to learn how to accept unpleasant thoughts and feelings, enabling them to focus on important goals and activities in their lives. There is increasing evidence for the effectiveness of ACT in managing a wide range of psychological difficulties.

What is manualised intervention?

Manualised ACT is being widely used to provide support to people with mild to moderate mental health problems.

Manualised interventions involve working through a standardised protocol with each client. Mental health support workers will guide clients through a booklet involving different modules targeting changes in various psychological processes.

Although the intervention should be largely standardised for each client, mental health support workers will slightly tailor the intervention to clients’ presenting problems and unique characteristics. The mode of treatment is based on the guided self-help model implemented in primary care services in other countries.

What is Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)?

IAPT is a programme in England, started by the National Health Service (NHS) in 2008, to increase the number of adults (aged 16+) able to access evidence-based therapy for anxiety and depression.

In 2014, a version of IAPT aimed at children and young people known as the CYP-IAPT programme (Children and Young Persons’ Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) was established. CYP-IAPT was implemented to increase the accessibility of evidence based talking therapy for children and young people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Both programmes are characterised by offering evidence based manualised guided self-help interventions, providing an additional resource, to reduce the burden on existing mental health services, by taking on mild cases and focussing on early intervention and aim to address mental health difficulties in their early stages before they may develop into more serious problems.

Why was the programme developed?

The programme was developed with the aim of training additional therapists to deliver high quality interventions within a relatively short time frame.

Globally, 75% of mental health problems develop before the age of 24 and 50% are established by the age of 14 (World Health Organization). Without intervention, anxiety and depressive disorders are likely to persist into adulthood.

In a more local context, evidence about mental health concerns among young people in Hong Kong is limited, but it is estimated that between 6.9% and 1.3% adolescents have diagnosable anxiety and depressive disorders, respectively (Leung et al. 2008). There are long waitlists or insufficient provision for individuals experiencing mild to moderate difficulties. Without intervention, mild to moderate difficulties may become more severe.

We hope that by training additional workers, we are able to provide early interventions to young people and improve the access to support.

Who are the project donors?

MINDSET (Jardine Matheson Group’s charity), Hongkong Land HOME FUND & HKEX Foundation.

Who is eligible to join this course?

Refer to entry requirements above.

How will trainees be assessed?

Trainees will undergo an assessment at the end of the initial teaching block. They will lead a practice session with a member of course staff to assess their skills and knowledge. The session will be recorded and reviewed by two assessors to verify that they have reached the required standard to commence their placements.

Supervisors will monitor trainees’ development throughout the placement to ensure that they are meeting the required level of competency to pass the training course at the end of the placement.

Who will the trainees be providing the service to?

Young people aged 12-24 experiencing mild to moderate emotional distress.

Can you give me an example of the sort of person I would be working with as a trainee?

Trainees will work with youth experiencing mild to moderate psychological distress including, but not limited to, depression, generalised anxiety and low self esteem.

Where are the placements conducted?

Trainees will be housed in community settings that are already working with young people, for example: secondary schools, universities, clinics and community organisations.

Trainee YWPs from schools, community organisations and clinics will be able to conduct their placements at their employment organisations providing their organisations are participating in the programme and are supportive of this initiative. Independent Trainee YWPs without association to any organisations will be assigned to host organisations by Mind HK.
Trainees will be assigned to either a school setting, or to clinics or community organisations.